Retiring Sen. Roy Blunt (R-MO) on Sunday said he was “sort of surprised” that House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) considered asking then-President Trump to resign after Jan. 6, following McCarthy getting caught red-handed after denying that he planned to tell Trump to resign after the deadly Capitol insurrection.
Blunt pointed to McCarthy’s close relationship with the former president during an appearance on MSNBC’s “Meet the Press.”
“I haven’t talked to the majority leader in the House about this, but he’s been close Trump,” Blunt said, while erroneously referring to the House minority leader. “Frankly, when I first heard this, I thought anybody who’s been as close to President Trump as Kevin McCarthy was would know that the last thing that Donald Trump was going to do was either resign or quit.”
Blunt noted that the insurrection happened less than two weeks before Trump left office, arguing that a Trump resignation was an unrealistic prospect.
“There was no way that was going to happen,” Blunt said. “And I was, frankly, sort of surprised that Kevin would even suggest it might be a realistic suggestion to make to President Trump.”
Pressed on whether McCarthy now has a “credibility problem” after New York Times reporters released audio that debunked McCarthy’s denial of his plans to ask Trump to resign, Blunt deflected.
“Well, you’ll have to ask him that. My guess is you don’t remember every conversation you’re in exactly the way it occurred,” Blunt said. “And maybe you remember it the way you want it to occur.”
After saying he served in both the House and Senate, Blunt jabbed House GOP leadership.
“I’ve never been in a leadership meeting where you felt like you couldn’t think out loud,” Blunt said. “And apparently they have a leadership where you can’t think out loud.”
Only a handful of lawmakers on both sides of the aisle publicly criticized in the immediate aftermath of Times reporters’ release of an audio clip verifying its report on McCarthy’s plan to ask Trump to resign after Jan. 6, which occurred during a call with fellow GOP leaders.
For his part, Trump assured that he and McCarthy remain on good terms in an interview with the Wall Street Journal on Friday evening. Trump said although he “didn’t like the call” McCarthy made with his GOP colleagues, McCarthy apparently crawled back into his good graces because he has spent the past year defending the former president.
McCarthy also maintained that all is well between him and Trump when speaking to reporters on Friday. McCarthy said that he had spoken to Trump twice that day and had a “good conversation” about the audio recording. McCarthy added that he “never asked President Trump to resign” and “never thought he should resign.”
Watch Blunt’s remarks below: